Mary “Mickey” Welch understands the importance of education. So much, that the Parkersburg, W.Va., resident is giving $10 million to West Virginia University to create two endowed scholarship funds for future state students from Wood County.
The money will come to the WVU Foundation from six charitable remainder unitrusts established by Welch when each terminates in 15 years. Nine-point-five ($9.5) million dollars will be used to establish the Mary “Mickey” Welch Scholars Program, while $500,000 will create the Mary “Mickey” Welch Wood County 4-H Scholarship Fund.
“I’m very grateful to be in a position to support our young people,” said Welch. “To be able to help future generations of students from Wood County further their education is such a great feeling. WVU is a major player in our area and the state, so it was a logical choice to make the university the beneficiary of these unitrusts.”
The Welch gift is the single largest scholarship donation to the Foundation’s comprehensive Campaign, “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University”, and brings the $50 million dollar “Dream First” scholarship initiative to over $36 million. The “Dream First” program was announced last May to urge alumni and friends to support students as they “dream big” and pursue their passions.
“I am extremely grateful to the Welch family for this gift, especially the support of the ‘Dream First’ scholarship initiative,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “As we said when announcing this initiative, it is crucial that we inspire our students to dream. This will help us meet those goals, as well as enable this state to keep its best and brightest students as we work together to transform West Virginia.”
The Mary “Mickey” Welch Scholars Program will provide undergraduate scholarship support for students living in Wood County. Recipients shall be in good academic standing and demonstrate financial need. Recipients remain as Welch Scholars for four years provided they continue to be in good standing at WVU. The donor’s intent is that there will be an equal number of freshman, sophomore, junior and senior Welch Scholars awarded annually.
The Mary “Mickey” Welch Wood County 4-H Scholarship Fund will benefit the Wood County 4-H Program of the WVU Extension Service. Funds will create scholarships to support youth attending 4-H related county, state, regional, national and international conferences, camps, training programs, events, competitions or other 4-H programs. The scholarships will be given to youth who would not financially be able to afford these opportunities without the assistance of this endowment.
Welch and her family were involved in the oil and gas industry in West Virginia for many years, primarily in Wood and neighboring counties.
Along with WVU, Welch also has been a generous supporter of the WVU Parkersburg Foundation, Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, Sheltered Workshop, YWCA, Habitat for Humanity and Parkersburg Arts Center.
CONTACT: Felicha Dugan, WVU Foundation
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